Marriage: just a contract?

For some moms, marriage is an absolute requirement, but others have learned to live without it, and others don't see what the big deal is at all. What is marriage to you? A prerequisite to parenting or no big deal?

40  Answers

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I cannot believe how judgemental most of these comments are. If you are married and have children and have a happy family - power to you. You are blessed. Yes I had a child out of wedlock. There was hardly even a relationship there. I would never marry her biological father or any man just to give my child the illusion of a more "stable" environment. Every day I work to become a better person. Every day I read, sing, smile, hug and love my daughter. She tells me out of the blue (and she is only two) that she loves me. She feels secure with me. We may lack routine sometimes due to the nature of having to be homemaker, caretaker and breadwinner all in one. But I do my best to get better at it all. For those who say she will grow up dysfunctional...take a deep look in the mirror. Do you have dysfunctional days as a family? Have you ever had intense arguments with your spouse in front of your child? While my daughter doesn't hear that. I will marry some day, but for me. Not her. When I meet the right person that I am compatible with and love deeply enough to work through the hard times. Until then this mama is independently owned and operated and doing a fine job!!!

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More power to you and your daughter. I am truly happy she has you for a mom.

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Marriage is a huge commitment. A sacred one at that. Everyone needs a witness in life, someone to share all the important parts with. No one wants to win a race if no one is there at the finish line waiting, or in the crowd cheering them on. Life was meant to be shared with some one, and when someone wants you to share in theirs its an opportunity to cherish and hold on to forever. The vows you take aren't just ritual, but a promise to the one you love and who loves you. Marriage is also a lot like being a parent, its not for the weak. There will be rough patches, times when you are clueless as to what to do, but you made a commitment so you wing it. You have to grow with it as it grows with you.So in the end you can look back and say look what we did, and how far we've come, together.That's my opinion of marriage, too bad not everyone viewed it that way.

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Beautifully put. Thanks for sharing! :)

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LOVE is a choice! Outside of family, we choose who we love. Marriage is the ultimate "I love you AND will continue to CHOOSE to love you for the rest of my life"!. I don't believe that people "fall in or out of love". I believe in attraction, leading to getting to know that special someone who compliments who you are, so I'm not saying you could love someone who embodies personality traits that you find repulsive. I also believe that you shouldn't have sex with someone you wouldn't be willing to choose to love for the rest of your life. Before you go off trying to tell me I'm old fashioned, blah, blah, blah......let me inform you that I had a son when I was 25, and had no intention of marrying his father, so I didn't. Life and faith have taught me to believe that my actions were wrong. While I was blessed through my selfishness and have the best son ever (biased mom here), I know that he was deprived of the father he should have had from day 1. I married a wonderful man almost 10 years ago and now my son does have a dad (he was adopted by my husband 8 years ago). Life is easier with two parents, but more than that, through my relationship with my husband, I can teach my son some very important life lessons; how to have a romantic love, team work, communication, etc. Being a single parent is not easy and I know it's not always a choice but in my world, kids would have two loving parents who would be there for their entire lifetimes! My pastor once said the best gift you can give your kids is a great marriage - AMEN!

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So what if you don't have a great marriage? what if it turns into an aweful one? is the best gift you can give your children happy separate parents? Or is it still better to have them in a house with parents who never act affectionate in front of their kids, fight or just basically co-exist and then occasionally have semi-happy family moments together? I think I know what most people will say, but I also fear what exactly will happen when the 'kids are at Dad's' without mom around.

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It is ordained by God that if you are having a "relationship" you are to be married. I just got married on Sunday after living together 13 years!

I had started yearning to go back to church. Several months after returning, I started feeling "convicted" by God and when we went to do the "wild thang" it felt almost like sexual abuse...hard to explain.

I talked to my man, and we decided to get married. I swear in the last month since we decided to do it my love has grown even more!

Like I said we got married a few days ago and it was just wonderful. Even the kids were happy...you wouldn't know it the way they used to act!

I say if you are really in love, go for it. And make sure you include the Lord in your life.

You will be greatly blessed.

Ok, I shall step off of my pulpit now :-)

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Well said! Children need both parents, male and female, to grow in happiness and love. Each lends a different styling and balanced strengths and weaknesses. The marital embrace was created by God to create life, not only in the creation of a child but it gives life to the union. It's only with the grace of God can that happen. Congrats on your nuptials!:)

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Marriage is a choice but if chosen is a covenant between the married couple and God. Marriage should not be entered into lightly and should be a life committment that honors both the couple, their family and God.

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Marriage is a choice. I chose marriage as my ultimate commitment to my boyfriend. It is the truest expression of relationship for me. My choice for marriage has nothing to do with God. I want to marry because I chose to marry. I don't intend to change my name. I am happy with the name I have now. Marriage isn't about the kids for me. Societal norms are no longer the driving force for marriage.

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Kris, if your marriage has nothing to do with God, whether you believe it or not, whether you believe in God or not, you have no idea whatsoever! the trouble you are brewing, its your choice and the consequences will also be part of your choice.

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HOLY STROMBOLI!!! The amount of prejudice surprises me, simply because most of it is coming from those pulling God in on their side. Marriage can be viewed as a contract with or without God's signature. Allow me to pull a line from the movie Eat, Pray, Love: "Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face, you kind of have to be committed." Same goes for marriage, regardless of God's involvement. It's not what's inside of Him that makes it happen, it's what inside of each of us that makes it happen. If you're committed to following His guidelines for marriage and life, then you will follow your heart into marriage and life, not stricken down those who don't and act like God Himself. Let Him be the judge.

The world is filled with way too many weak couples and not enough strong individuals.

I have seen plentiful amounts of families that seem perfect statistically: father, mother, children, and church; that are the most dysfunctional. Whether it's because it is believed to be the solution to the world's equation, or because that path is chosen simply from weakness and lack of making your own path, who knows. If you're chasing your dreams, keeping faith (whether that means religiously, spiritually, or just simply hopeful), keeping truth and self and combining to be true to yourself, your footing will hold strong in the Pursuit of Happiness. Truth and strength will prevail and your children will model it, regardless of marriage or not.

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Very true, and well said.

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Marriage is instituted by God and compared to the relationship between the church and the Savior. Marriage is a commitment by two people for better or worse. when the worse part is listed in the contract to me it means that God expects us to comply and work things through and knows that it wont be easy because two different people are coming together and spending every moment together and all privacy is aside at that time. times have changed and privacy means nothing anymore so marriage doesnt mean the same thing to many people as they have already engaged in sexual behavior meant for marriage and or lived together. some feel that would help if they get to know each other first like this then decide later not having signed a contract to split up. actually I have seen the opposite happen. people live together for years then get married only for it not to work out and then get divorsed and live not married together and it work out. what happened there is one of the parties was not able to commit totally to the person he was living with. the most important component here is the laws of God stating if a man and woman live together they need to be married and that was to protect us not harm us....the other is the psychological aspect of pain and misery and children. look at all the messed up families and single families there are where people have either divorsed or have chosen to have kids without being married or just not obeyed the laws of chastity degrading themselves by living with low morals and bringing children into this type of world which I feel confuses them and deprives them of a stable loving complete family life.

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sorry to add my own comment...but...marriage is a contract between the man and the woman and God....its three way not two way....if God is included in that contract then your marriage is truely blessed....there are marriages that dont work out...people divorse....but I was always told that both parties really need to repent of their selfish ways....or as in one case I knew of ..one party needed to get psychological help.....my husband and I are opposites and no it isnt easy and we have been married for 42 yrs...we have changed and maybe that is what God wanted...for each of us to learn and grow and change so ....yes there should be a contract but as long as God is included in that contract....It is a choice like anything else in life and you are taking chances but everything in life is a chance you have to take...God bless

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Marriage is what you make it. Marriage is a personal choice. We no longer live in the age where one is required to marry do be considered living a good life. I am married to my high school sweetheart and we've been together 18 years. However we are a rarity now days. I know how hard it is for me to raise our three children WITH a husband and I have great respect for those raising children alone. I don't judge another's choice based on my own path in life for that would do both parties a huge injustice. We never know what a person has gone through truly. My husband and I have been on the brink of divorce in the past. We have conquered infedelity, substance abuse, and childhood cancer. But we have a commitment to each other and equally share the same belief that, for us, divorce is the easy way out. However, not everyone has that belief or that support from a significant other. All to often we find someone we just know we will love forever only to find out they did not share the same intense feelings. As human beings we naturally crave companionship and intimacy but its not always easy to find that and often our scarred paths have created barriers of trust issues. The main thing is to know yourself, first. Love who you are and commit to becoming a better you. The right person will come along and find that those same confidences you have will be what they love best about you. Your children will see that same confidence and be inspired by you and you will be overjoyed in the end at the legacy you leave your children and the love of your lifetime that came along at "just the right time." Marriage is a commitment between two individuals but in order for that commitment to remain strong, both parties have to share the same values toward it.

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I've read through so many comments on here and, for some reason, yours is the one that brought me to tears. Thank you.

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I believe raising children within the covenant of marriage is God's best plan for us. Not only does He say this is so, but statistics bear out the benefits to children with two parents who made that promise to God and each other. Love is not a feeling; it is a decision that can become pretty difficult when pressures inevitably occur. Sometimes the promise might be the only thing that holds a couple through to the other side of hard times. There is also such a sense of joy, victory, and deeper love when you've made it through still together, a well-being and security which flow to our children.

On the other hand, children suffer much more than we like to think from not having their parents together. They are statistically much more likely to have behavioral problems, drug addictions, early promiscuity and relationship difficulties. I have lived the cost firsthand through my own parents' divorce and watching my stepchildren struggle no matter how hard we tried to make things 'normal' for them. Successful single parenting can be done; it is just so much more difficult.

That said, I have the utmost respect for what single moms go through. There are times when my tween is pushing back so hard that I really appreciate having Dad step in as a supportive voice. When I am worried about something regarding the kids, it helps so much having someone to bounce my ideas off of and add his own wisdom. Single moms, I know you do your very best and your children will be blessed by your love and courage.

One encouragement I have to put in for those who have decided that God is a choice. Absolutely He loves you enough to give you a choice. He gave you free will, but His existence does not depend on your choice. Choose Him or not, He is. He created you, He loves you, and relationships, parenting and life are all infinitely better when you walk it with Him than without Him.

Blessings to all you loving moms, single or otherwise!

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even children from married conferment also exhibit .behavioral problems, drug addictions, early promiscuity and relationship difficulties e.t.c.people who stay in marriages for the sake of the children sometime`s end up doing more damages to this kids than good due to unhealthiness of such marriages.and it must also be noted there is no perfect parenting either married or single.

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I believe that marriage is a very personal thing to each person and no one can define marriage for anyone else. Sometimes marriage does not work out for a million various reasons and I've learned through my personal experiences that all's fair in love and war. I believe that marriage has nothing to do with the god of the bible as an institution, however for some people that is what it means to them. But people get married who do not believe in that god, or they believe in other gods, or they believe in no god. I think marriage is a government issued license that allows you to be in a partnership financially with someone. People marry for all the reasons you could think of, and in my personal experience, having children with someone does not mean you have to get married, and does not mean that getting married is the best thing for you or your children.

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I agree whole-heartedly

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I think marriage is absolutely necessary in raising children. And for those who say it doesn't matter to the children, it does. When I was a teacher and engaged to be married, every one of my students whose parents weren't married came to me and told me they wished their parents would get married. The commitment made in a marriage sets up a stable foundation on which to raise children and children NEED stability and security. There would be so many less problems in the world today if people would marry before they had sex and children and then stay together.

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A child can feel stable and secure with one parent. I have raised my child since day one by myself. Regardless of my poor choices - I have created a positive consequence. My daughter is amazing. Children brown nose their teachers. When I was a kid I used to wish I was adopted and that my real parents would save me from actual real parents. When they fought I wished they were divorced. The grass is always greener on the other side. My daughter is growing up to know that she is loved and it doesn't take a man to be a strong, successful woman.

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Marriage to me has NOTHING to do with god, it is all about the commitment between 2 people regardless of gender. I was 3 months pregnant when I got married but had been engaged for about 2 years and been together for about 7 years at that point. I felt it brought us closer together as a couple and completed our family, we have now been married for almost 3 years and have 2 kids together and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Tiffany, God has everything yo do with why your marriage is so successful!

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Why is marriage a requirement for ANYONE? If it feels like a requirement, then please, save yourself the time & hurt & don't go through with it. I know some young moms feel like they need to marry the child of their father. This is NOT true. I had my first child before I got married. His dad was constantly bugging me to get married, & I refused until he learned to straighten up. I'm glad I listened to my heart. He ended up physically abusing me, & thank God I have a family that is there for me & came to get my son & I. I am now married to a wonderful man whom I have another son with & he also has a daughter from a previous relationship. I am so thankful that I waited for the right man to come along.

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basically I am glad for you that you found mr right....sometimes we jump the gun and do things ahead of time..God has laws that we need to follow if we dont then we suffer as you did...you didnt want to marry that guy because he was abusive and right you were on that as you would have been miserable the rest of your life...but having children before your married well, then your stuck taking care of the precious child alone...plus having to deal with his father......if we followed God's commandments and wait till married and till we feel we found the right one as you did then you wouldnt have suffered so much....sorry for your suffering..I know others like th is as well......its hard but you did learn something...marriage isnt easy because its two different people from different families and we were all taught different things..but for now...I am so h appy for you that things turned out good....my sister was like that as well and is very happy now....God bless you....children are so precious....

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Marriage centered on God, then kids. It's the way it was intended to be. Children need both a male and female figure in their life. Relationships will always have struggles, but if this is the focus than nothing is too big to get through.

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God is a non-point because Scientific evidence of a god doesn't exist. So when you count that out of the equation you're left with "marriage centered on kids". Nope. I find that as a single parent my son and I work as a team and communicate MUCH better than regular, 2 parent households. We are closer, we have respect, and we work together to be a great family (although a small one being just myself and him). Male figures can be found anywhere if you have good people in your life. I don't date, but I do have two parents who are married, stable, and good role models (ie: don't drink, don't smoke, don't curse, have high expectations, work ethics, etc) and since I work in a males-only career (Machinist), I have tons of platonic male friends who provide the fun "guy stuff" and allow him a myriad of family and friends who provide positive role models of all sorts (myself, his grandparents, my friends, and even my ex boyfriends who I have good friendships with stop in and hang out with him, get him gifts, play sports with him, etc). It's not about a positive male role model needing to be ROMANTICALLY attached to the household nor living in the household. It's about having good, solid adult role models in his life. Whether male, female, adults, kids, friends, family, and loved ones. Male and female role models don't always come as a "package deal" and you're assuming that a dad simply being "present" is better than no dad, but having positive role models that are much more than just "present". I feel marriage and romance is selfish and that a parent should always make their child their one and only concern. Marriage and relationships and dating are distractions from your Darwinian duty. We are meant to be born, to grow up, to procreate, and die. That's it. And the concept of "dads being involved" is actually "new" in the scheme of time. Anthropologically, the "norm" throughout history was that females banded together and raised their children (both male and female) as a group/community and the fathers were literally NOT allowed to be involved in the parenting in any way. And when the younger male children grew up, they were also excluded from the community of women. Humans have short memories and forget actual facts quickly. Humans were never "meant" to raise kids together and the concept is a "new" idea. Anthropologically and Scientifically speaking, men were not to have a say or hand in raising children and were not even allowed to live with the children.

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Things are not always as simple as "marriage first, then kids". As long as the children in your lives are happy and well cared for, who really cares. I have seen married couples with unhappy lives and unhappy children. Then again I have seen single parents, both male and female, have satisfying home lives with their children.

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But things can be that simple. If people would live chaste lives, it would be that simple. Today, many people view such a thing as chastity as archaic. Really, all it takes is self control and following through with commitments, especially to yourself. It's not as hard to control that aspect of one's self as society makes it out to be. It just takes effort. And effort is something that many people don't want to give, whether it be for self control or working hard or anything. Really, it should be that simple. That is how God intended it to be. There are exceptions to everything, I get that, but for the most part, it would be that simple if people could exert a little self control and save themselves for marriage.

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For those who believe Marriage has nothing to do with God, then why get married? “Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will cling to his wife: and they will be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24. The very first books of the Bible which incidentally were written thousands of years before the Bible was created, call the woman his "wife" not partner, not girlfriend. If you don't believe in the Bible, you have the choice to live together as a couple. Modern society even supports civil unions. However do not pick and choose which parts of the Bible you have a right to believe in whether you call yourself a Christian or not. You cannot simply choose to say that Marriage does not COME from the Bible or from religion. Having said that, Marriage is work. It is not easy to combine two different thought processes into one, even if you have the same fundamental values, faith and/or belief system. The Bible, and therefore I, do believe there are reasons for divorce, physical abuse, substance abuse and adultery. No-one should be forced to live in these situations just because they have children. There are christians living as single parents also and what your faith is does not determine the type of parent you are. I also happen to have the unique perspective of being a military wife whose husband is currently away on a year long deployment. I understand the struggles of single parents, and it is probably this that has made me choose marriage over divorce, regardless of the struggles we face as a couple. It is hard when he leaves, it is hard when he comes home and then when he is here, we have to work very hard at our relationship. I am a firm believer in seeking counseling, allowing someone else to mediate, take the emotion out of our struggles, and present possible solutions to our conflicts. Too many people reach a hard time in their marriage and seek divorce without really putting in the effort to see if they can work through it. You cannot compare single parenthood to having a parent in the military or who has passed away. Apples and oranges. These people don't make a choice to separate their families. My children understand whether their dad is here or not, he loves them more than life and will do whatever he can to make it back here safely. We as a family put this situation in God's hands because it is too big for us to control. Regardless of whether you believe marriage is biblically based, or whether you think a single parent can raise a child as effectively as a dual parent household, remember that it takes a man and a woman to MAKE a child and we have to consider the precedent that this sets.

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I had my first two children when I was very young...17& then 19yrs old. They have the same dad who I was not married to and the relationship ended quickly and badly. I don't feel that a person should marry the father of their child just to create a perfect family picture. We all know that looks can be deceiving! I later found the love of my life and we are now married. I think in a perfect world that I would have preferred to find my husband, get married and then have children...would have saved myself a whole lot of heart break along the way but NEVER do I regret my children from my previous relationship and I thank God every day for a husband who loves my children and provides for our family.

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I made the mistake of marrying my children's father just so he could be in their lives. The alarms were going off in my head telling me not to do it, and I did. Now 12 years and two additional kids, dysfunction doesn't begin to describe the relationship I have with their father. Marriage is not to be entered into lightly because of all it encompasses. What is dysfunctional, and even more disturbing, is how the kids may end up by watching two people who clearly don't love each other exist and miss out on living life. I've learned my lesson, a very hard one, and the next time around I will marry for the connection the man and I have intellectually, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. If he can make love to my mind, without even touching me or being in the same space, I can just imagine the fireworks that will go off when we're together.

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I take my hat off to u for staying for so long. I have two beautiful children and am know a single mom since april 2011. I was in a relationship with my childrens father for 8 years and was engaged to him for 4 years. The relationship was very much one sided and while i was trying to plan a wedding and a forever after he was opening a secret bank account, talking to other women on the internet and planing to leave. He was also a heavy drinker from an abusive family. Yes i thought this man was the love of my life but know i see that my children are better off on our own without him. This man truely broke my heart as i would have done anything for him and i wanted to be married. Now i see that my kids are greatful for the job their mum does for them. I work full time and have just bought a house for us. I took them on a road trip to see the nth east coast of australia (im from aust) to see dolphins and whales and their first time at the beach. I create a stable home environment for them and spend time at their school helping out. They know that mum loves them and that she ensures that they are happy. We are a close family now because of it. I did try to work things out with their father thru councelling in which at first he did want to b with me but he then changed his mind once again and stated he preferred to b single. While i raise his children hes planning to spend his mid life crisis in india for two months to go find himself and is internet dating other single mum with kids. I get a little money from him as the govt here makes u pay, hes hiding thousands of $$$ for his trip and conplains about caring for the kids. I didnt want my kids to learn that this is the normal behavoiur of someone who is sapposed to b in love and learn that is ok to b in a abusive relationship. I wanted a marriage and good relationship for myself and for my kids to see this as an example for their future relationships. I was not able to do that at this time so its best for us to b on our own. I will meet someone one day but until that time in in no hurry. If i meet a man in the future i will insure i take my time to get to know him and that he will b completely committed to me and my children. I will make sure that he understands what marriage means to me and its not a just for the moment thing until someone else comes along. Its forever. Well until my time for love again comes along i will just continue to do the best for my children and ensure their wellbeing comes first and that i provide them with wonderful life experiences and lots of love. I know im doing a good job as they tell me im the best mum ever and give me a big hug. Marriage just didnt happen for me so now its my job not to let these kids down. I wish for them to grow up believing that marriage can happen for u and it is a wonderful thing, just make sure that its with the right person who truly loves and respects u.

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"Just a Contract" is a very telling statement, isn't it? A contract is a promise and we are better people if we are promise keepers. And the marriage promise specifically will make us happier and better if we keep it. How could it not? Anyone who is miserable in marriage is already breaking the promises (or married to someone breaking the promises) so they can hardly accurately speak on the benefits of that promise. Ultimately, you can do marriage right, you can do it wrong, or you can not do it at all. Contracts exist to protect us, and help us. To shun them is akin to shunning seat belts. Sure, it may work out fine, but its naive arrogance to think you aren't better off with it. But ultimately, we as a society need to learn to be promise keepers. Marriage is kinda perfect for practising that.

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some statistics. Contrary to popular belief, the divorce rate is not 50%, but closer to 33%. People who live together before they are married but after they are engaged hovers around 41%. A shared belief system (regardless of the beliefs) brings it down to 25%. Measurable institutions with an abstinence prequisite on a ceremony (i.e. No sex or repented sex before marriage) quote divorce rates at 6%. 70% of couples living together without marriage or engagement are no longer together within 5 years (whether kids are involved or not). No long term statistics exist on the remaining 30%, but it is a compound equation, which wouldn't bode well for them. The vast majority of people living under the poverty line are single mothers. Single people have lower life expentancy, higher rate of disease, statistically have a lower income (although to be fair, there would be several reasons for that one) and higher rates of depression and suicide.

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I think marriage is important. Today, nothing is for sure, and if you can show your kids how important it is to you, they will see the importance of it too. I do not take it lightly, and they should not either.

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My husband and I are now happily married for 5 years. We were together for 10 years prior to being married. I have to say that being married changed it for me. I feel as if it solidified our being in it together, that there has been a larger commitment made to us, to our future. And yes you do lose the single minded identity because it is no longer just about you, it is always about us and our families future. I personally love and am happier in these last five married years. It is of course a personal choice for each couple and as long as each are happy with the arrangement then that is all that really matters, but it did change for me how I feel about our relationship.Regardless of which way you go legally or otherwise it can all be walked away from so it comes down to the true commitment made by each partner that determines the fate.

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And I don't think it matters to children as long as their parents are committed to them and one another.

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"Marriage means I accept you for the person that you are and that I do not wish to change you into someone else. It means I do not expect perfection from you-just as you do not expect it from me. It means I will love you and stand by you even through the worst of times. It means loving you when your in a bad mood or too tired to do the things I want to do. It means loving you when your down-not just when your fun to be with. I love you means that I know your deepest secrets and do not judge you for them-asking in return only that you do not judge me for mine. It means I care enough to fight for what we have and that I love enough not to let go. It means thinking of you, dreaming of you, wanting and needing you constantly and hoping that you feel the same way for me."

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wow!! lee ann i think you said it best. that is exactly how i feel about my husband.. that is how i know i love him and visce versa.. He can drive me crazy, upset me whatever but We both know we are in it for the long haul!!! We love our kids and want the best for them.

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I think marriage is between two people (of any gender, but thats another issue for another time) and not required for raising children. I have a wonderful little boy who I am raising alone, and he is the happiest, most well rounded little boy I know. His father has never been in the picture, and I know he would be worse off if he were.

For all you who are arguing that children are raised better with two parents, would you condem fathers who raise their children alone after the mother dies in childbirth, or military families where the father is either away on assignment all the time, or dies in service to their country? There are more ways to form a single parent household than 'not getting married' are these children better off because their parent 'was' married and through unfortunate circumstances no longer is, than my child who I chose to give life to despite his fathers desire not to, and who is loved just as much as any other child?

Our society has linked marriage and children - through the Christan/religious principles that were overwhelmingly a factor in the creation of our 'norms'. But even then there were single parents, and part of moving foward in time is evolving ideas and 'norms'. How much hate does it take against humanity of various forms (marriage, gay marriage, race, gender/transgender, ethnicity, religion) before people will accept that not everyone is like you, but that doesn't make them wrong or bad?

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Another amazing mom! So nicely put. I love the military/widow analogy. We never know what could happen. Now I should really stop reading these posts and go study so I can get a higher degree, get a better job and serve as an example to my kids!

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Love doesn't sustain a vow. The vow sustains the love/// http://youtu.be/I4OK9DmLpCY This wise young man really breaks down marriage YOUVE GOT TO SEE HIS FLOETRY-- amazing and speaks volumes

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its nice you all seem to think that every marriage is a choice. I am a single mom and I very much watched to be a family with her father. However, he made his choice to have nothing to do with either one of us. He wont even acknowledge her existence. So I guess my opinion is you don't need marriage. I love my daughter and she loves me and as much as I would want her dad to love her back, I can't make that happen but I don't think she will grow up to be any less amazing then I know she will. I still love her father and I have to live everyday with the disappointment and the regret of not being able to give her, her father, but not a "stable" life because her life will be stable to her.

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I think if a child has a loving parent, they are very lucky. If they have two who love each other, get along and are in a stable relationship then what a great situation! If those two don't happen to be married, I don't see a problem. I'd rather have one loving parent than two that argue and bicker. Me and my (now but not at the time) husband had been togther for nearly seven years when we got engaged which also happen to be around the time we fell pregnant. I guess for some reasons I would have preferred that our son be born after our wedding (honeymoon etc) but I wouldn't change it for the world.

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Currently, I have absolutely no interest in getting married again. I fought hard to get divorced in order to show my daughter that she did not have to stay married to a man who did not love, respect, or honor her.

To me, marriage is a binding contract that, as such, can be legally undone if either party does not hold up his/her end of the bargain. I've seen married couples cause more harm than good to each other, while I've seen their unmarried (and co-habitating) peers treat each other with far more love, respect, and honor.

I may be running this race without a partner, but I am far from alone. I have my friends and family supporting me and cheering me on. While there is always room for more positive people in my life, I do not feel any desire or obligation to get married. My daughter's father plays absolutely no role in her life (due to his choices), and my son's father plays enough of a role in my son's life without having to intrude on mine.

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Marriage is a committment and requires learning, patience, and mutual agreements. Marriage is work, it is easier sometimes for single parents since they can teach one view, not deal with two views. No lines for children to cross or misunderstand. Yes, marriage is a contract between two people to agree to learn about the other, being patient with the other, and agreeing to disagree respectfully. For children, having parents is like a having a broader view of world- 2 sided cultural view. Some children are lucky to have great parents and some blessed with a single parent, either one takes dedication and work.

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I was married quite young because I believed in the sanctity of marriage. We had two beautiful children but I realised that our marriage was not normal. I went to counselling to try and save our marriage, I begged him to come with me, but he said that the problems where in my head only. He used to tell me that I did not deserve anything good. He would let me buy only the things he liked not what I liked. He controlled every aspect of my life. I had to sit back and watch him go on holidays when he wanted and I had to stay at home with the kids. When I wanted to go on holidays he would take us camping to save money but would spend thousands on his own trip with the boys every year. Marriage is not one person giving and the other person taking all the time. I got a divorce, lived as a single mother and decided that I would never marry again. I met someone and we lived together for 12 months before having a child, it was at this point my older children asked if we would be getting married. It never occurred to me or my now husband how important our marriage was to our children. They wanted the security of knowing that their parents where married. We married and it was the most beautiful day, having our children as part of the ceremony was symbolic as they felt that we had united as a family in the eyes of all that witnessed our marriage. We have since had child number 4 and are extremely happy. Marriage isn't without it's problems but some marriages are worth fighting for. They are not something that should be entered lightly. Marriage isn't for everyone and I know people who are happily unmarried as one of my friends calls it. Everyone has the right to choose what they feel is best for them and their family. Married or not a relationship is a commitment. Having children is a blessing and being happy is the best thing we can give our children.

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I agree with your decision...the first marriage WAS NOT what God wants a marriage to be... The second one sounds much healthier! Congrats!

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To put it this way....I have done it twice and don't care to try it again. It is much simpler to be single and not have to answer to anyone. Sure it gets lonely but if you way the pro's and the con's you are better off on your own.

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Mary, I have to agree with you on the most part. I have been in two long relationships...granted neither one of them was I married but after 7 years with the first one with all the What are you doing? Where are you going? crap it does get annoying. I am debating ending the relationship I am in now after 8 years due to the same stuff. If I go out with the girls for a night then I am a cheating piece of crap and if I stay home I am the loser without friends. I can not win for losing I tell you. Its a shame to because I have not been married but with everything I went through with my father and mother I have learned I will not sacrifice my happiness...even if it means being alone. I do however still have faith and believe that that one man will find me or I will find him and we will be the better half of each other.

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i agree... specailly in india marriage is just a contact when starts from arrnage marriage but as and when you start understanding each other... start compromising for each other suddenly will start realizing that compromising was not so bad... when you start adding on your choice, getting dependent on someone else;s choice.. you feel that someone is there for you, who dosnt love you but who cares for you, whom like to be with you. marraige is not about love its about comapnionship. it is a contact where there is no profit no loss is there is about sharing and compromising to stay happy and to see smile on husbund's face.

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I've loved marriage. But the ease of getting divorced bothers me a great deal, partially because after a 33 year marriage and a 39 year relationship, I've become a victim of "No Fault Divorce," which is what we have in California.

Unless you change the words in the traditional marriage ceremony, or have one that you completely write yourselves that says otherwise, you promise to love and cherish, etc until you die. But the marriage ceremony itself isn’t legally binding. You can change your mind and walk away with every cent you brought into the marriage, and half of everything else? The idea of walking away with no penalty (financial or otherwise) doesn't align with a contract. There is always someone who will raise the issue that says a contract can be broken, but marriage is a contract that can affect many. So, whether it's a contract or not, I guess it depends on who's deciding what a marriage contract is and how easy it is to get out of it.

I love the states contract that have instituted the Covenantal Marriage, where as I understand it, the couple can make the choice. a Covenantal Marriage is an unbreakable contract. If I were marrying for the first time or if I ever remarry and had or have that option, I wouldn't marry a guy who would not agree to the Covinental Marriage.

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I have one clarifying thought about my response above. The Bible says . . . and I don't remember chapter and verse, that we need not promise or swear because our word should be good enough - which I take to mean "binding." This is why I believe that marriage, at least between Christians should be binding based on their word, or their "promises." In fact, the word promise shouldn't even be needed in a marriage ceremony, only the words that say, "I will" or "I do." to the question. The rest is nice (very nice) and there needs to be more working for the sake of the "pomp and circumstance" of the event, but in the end, really frivolous. When people who are not Christians marry, they may not have to be responsible for their words although they may choose to. But Christians should not take the vows unless they intend to keep them. Even when the come to a crossroad in their marriage (which most people do at one point or another), they should still be bound to what they said. God does not leave us because we get bored, gravely ill, too fat, mean spirited, don't have dinner on time, or our butt gets too big, or for any other reason. He keeps his covenant with us. Likewise, our word alone, without even a promise attached should be considered a covenant, between Christians, that is.

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I have a 8 year old dadaughter who has a boyfriend named tylor he gave her a sock monkey and she lets nobody even her best friend ever touch it. One time she came home from school and she was crying her little head off she said that her boyfriend lied to her . Her dad was listening to her and he said l punch that boy for lying to my baby but she said you can't because he has heart problems so my answer is don't let 8 year olds date in tell they're like 13

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I am a mother of two children with the same father, we have plans to get married in the future but nothing is set in stone. We have been together for close to seven years and I wouldn't change anything, (except getting pregnant so early, I wish I would have waited). But anyway, I don't think that we are doing anything wrong by not being married, and I don't think it affects my children at all. I would like to get married, we are currently engaged but haven't even talked about setting a date.

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I always said: no ring, no baby. My husband wanted babies, so he put a ring on my finger. End of. My husband is everything to me, and I am so thankful for him every day. But I wouldn't have made him a father without that ring.

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I am very old fashioned and I think marriage is more important than anything else. I think it is important for my daughters to see what it really means to be married and to see the sacrifices made by both their father and myself for our family and our marriage. I am blessed to be married and I hope someday my daughters see marriage in the same light.

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I would love to marry the man I've been with for the past 10 years. He is scared of going through with it but not because he doesn't believe in it. In the beginning he opened up to me about his parents and although their is many family members that have had or are in great marriages he is still scared to get to that point. We now have three beautiful children and 10 years and counting of ups and downs, just as many marriages. That is good enough for me. The only thing that bothers me is that my side of the family does not think and treat him as the man and father me our children know him as. I don't like that they do not give the respect that he deserves to manning up and supporting our family any way he can. Marriage is something that should be treated with respect, should be done when two people love each other. It is not a contract although it seems that way. We do not all see eye to eye because we have religion intertwined with this subject. I do believe God does not frown upon mine or any other relationship out there that does not walk down the isle to show their family and friends that they are devoted to each other and their child or children. Also signing that document could affect your life in negative ways, one example is financially.

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There are only up-sides to marriage, not many down sides. This is the wisdom of a person that spent 7 years trying to divorce an abusive, narcissistic fraud. I also believe in living together for at least a year, so you know what you are getting into. After a year, why not formalize your commitment? Spend time slowly merging, but-word of wisdom- merge your bank accounts at the very end and don;t rush into doing that (that is the ONLY thing that is NOT necessary in any relationship). Living the married bliss here after 3 rejects.

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My boyfriend wants to marry me, we just had a baby, not for that reason, I want to marry him too but then I get second thoughts. It's not him, he's wonderful, even wants to adopt my other son, his dad chose to not keep in contact with him, hasn't seen him in a year. What's making me have second thoughts is that my boyfriend is almost divorced and I'm afraid the ex would want alimony possibly permanent and we can't have anything in our names together if we did marry because she would take a percentage of our finances. We have a loving family and that's all that matters and doesn't have to be proven in a piece of paper. I feel our lives are already complete.

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